Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The mast is down, on to Waterford July 7 and 8, 2009

Big stick coming down!

In Waterford, ready for the canal.

The next morning we were up early to try to have everything ready for when it was our turn. The other boat waiting there was having their mast put back up, ready to head south. They were from France. Dave was busy making sure the cradle was in the right spot and secure enough to handle the load and Christopher and I were doing the support jobs, like removing the not too essential pieces of rigging. When it was our turn, Christopher moved into his photographer position and Dave and I did as we were told to help as the crane pulled the mast out and placed it on the cradle. Thankfully there were two marina folks there and the man from France as well, as at one point it seemed the mast came precariously close to the water.
The rest of the day was spent securing the mast to the cradle, cleaning, deflating and packing away SeaJay 2 our faithful dinghy, generally trying to find a place for everything and making sure we could still move around as needed on the boat around the somewhat awkward structure.
We had noticed on our trip up the Hudson that motorboats were not as likely to give you a gentle pass as they had been on the intracoastal waterway and that some of the wakes had been pretty scary. Feeling somewhat vulnerable carrying the mast down, we left at 5 am hoping to avoid most motorboat traffic. This meant going against the current but we thought that the solitude on the river was worth it. We were about 15 minutes out when the fog surrounded us. The computer man on the weather radio said it would lift around 7am. Darn. What to do? Go back to the dock? We could see the markers behind us but not in front. So we slowly headed back to one and circled around discussing our options. Then the route ahead of us became more visible and we decided to forge ahead, having only been delayed by 10 to 15 minutes. We saw 1 motorboat around 7:30 and then not again until mid morning. Two of them were approaching at what looked like a dangerous speed for us, so we radioed them to see if they could slow down. One was very nice and passed us as with as little wake as possible. The other guy seemed to speed up and giggle with glee as he sped by. Tiffany Rose bucked and rocked back and forth and we held our breath hoping our cradle would hold. We survived.
When we arrived at Waterford, which is the start of the Erie Canal, we were lucky to be able to dock at the free floating dock that has electricity and water.

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